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The Spirit Of Siren Remains Amidst Coney Island Changes (SLIDESHOW)

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Every summer during the last decade, the masses have trekked out to Coney Island for Siren Festival, battling the heat and crowds for a searing day of live music. Although the area is slowly descending into yet another commercialized sector -- as evidenced this year by the half-dozen "for sale" banners draped on buildings from developer and landlord Thor Equities -- the counter-culture spirit that infuses the festival still lingers.As the 10th anniversary, Siren's lineup was billed as a nostalgic offering, with indie rock stalwart Ted Leo leading the charge. Leo has recently been fending off rumors of retirement, and while he has cited the depleted music industry as a major obstacle, he's resolute about soldiering on. Leo's set was anthemic, showing off his elastic voice with songs that spanned his long career. Sadly, there was no "Me and Mia," Daft Punk or Kelly Clarkson covers, but Leo was aided with a powerful vocal performance on one song from Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females, who played earlier in the day.

Towards the softer end of the spectrum was the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the adorable quintet from Brooklyn that meshes twee indie pop with the shimmering sensibilities of shoegaze. Their buoyant, jangly set encapsulated their appeal, mining the pop gems from their self-titled debut, along with a few newer tracks, as the vocal interplay of the soft-singing Kip Berman and Peggy Wang soared above the exuberant guitars.

Speaking of vocal interplay, Earl Greyhound had a similar, but louder dynamic over at the Stillwell Avenue stage earlier in the day, with singers Matt Whyteand and Kamara Thomas assuming power stances and blasted the eardrums of the audience, with material off their new album, Suspicious Package.

Closing out the Stillwell stage was Holy Fuck, the technological Canadian group that combines mutated vocals with a krautrock clank and minimalism. Their synth-happy atmospherics were surprisingly melodic, favoring large swathes of sound over esoteric knob-twiddling. Alas, they disbanded sharply at nine o'clock, and despite cries of "one more song," the band was led off by security.

Alas, even rock and roll must cede to rules and regulations.

Siren Fest
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